The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said on Tuesday that health experts believe the Wuhan coronavirus will also spread in the country. The agency's comments came amid hectic preparations by the government.
CDC Warns of Potential Outbreak
According to CNN, director of the CDC's National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Disease Dr. Nancy Messonnier noted that the topic on potential community spreading in the United States is now focused on when the outbreak will take place and how many people will be affected.
The CDC went on to urge hospitals and businesses to start preparing for a potential outbreak, noting that it will continue to cooperate with various agencies in ensuring that all Americans are well-prepared.
The news came following spikes in CoVID-19 cases around the world. While the outbreak in China appears to be slowly declining, a community-spreading event is taking place in other parts of the world including Iran and South Korea.
For the CDC, it is important for Americans to understand that the situation can be bad if the novel virus breaks out in the U.S. The only way to prevent spreading across the country is to be prepared, experts said.
San Francisco Declares Local Health Emergency
San Francisco has zero coronavirus cases but on Tuesday, Mayor London Breed declared a local emergency, pointing out that the global situation prompted the local government to "step-up" in its work towards preparing for a virus battle.
In a statement, Breed reiterated that the daily spread of the CoVID-19 strain across other countries around the world is dire enough for the San Francisco government to ensure that residents are protected, NBC Bay Area reported.
Director of the San Francisco Department of Public Health Dr. Grant Colfax explained that through Breed's declaration, health care providers in the area will be more alert and will strive to prevent infections among residents.
10 of the total 53 cases in the United States are in California but not in San Francisco.
CoVID-19 Looking More Like a Pandemic
Over the weekend, U.S. National institutes of Health's infectious disease chief Dr. Anthony Fauci said the coronavirus situation is starting to get "very, very close" to a pandemic, confirming earlier fears that a global outbreak is possible.
Fauci also said China helped in ensuring that countries outside the outbreak's epicenter have some time to prepare for community spreading in their areas of responsibility.
Countries around the world are also starting to shut down schools, stadiums, and other sites where people gather to prevent spreading in case there is an infected person attending big events.
Larry Kudlow CoVID-19 In U.S. is Contained
Amid growing fears that the coronavirus will start spreading in the U.S. in the long run, top Trump administration adviser Larry Kudlow said Tuesday afternoon that everything is under control.
"We have contained this," he said, adding that the government is doing well in preventing the virus' spread across the country.
For Kudlow, there is not much to worry about, even in American markets. He believes the situation will not turn into an "economy tragedy." It is also worth noting that his comments came after Messonnier's warnings.
Despite Kudlow's reassuring comments, some pharmaceutical experts warned that there could be a shortage in medical products and supplies in the U.S. should the outbreak continue in China and other countries.
Disruption in Medical Supply Expected
U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) commissioner Dr. Stephen Hahn said during a media briefing on Tuesday that the agency is aware of the potential disruption in medical supply chains in the country.
As part of the efforts to ensure that the U.S. is prepared for a potential coronavirus outbreak, the FDA said it has started discussions with pharmaceuticals and reminded them to notify the agency immediately should there be signs of a shortage.
Companies are working round-the-clock to develop a vaccine that should help ease the world's fears about the death and infection tolls climbing in the coming weeks.